Our measure of EV affordability and choice did suffer a slight fall from 36 to 34 in Q3. This was due to a distortion created by the volume weighting we assign to EV prices where we effectively factor in the sales performance of each model. During the period under review both Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron won an unusually high share of EV sales – neither of which could be described as ‘budget’ models. However, we expect that in the first half of next year we will see strong movements in a positive direction as a number of recently, or soon to be launched electric models build market share. These include Volkswagen ID.3, siblings Vauxhall Corsa-e and Peugeot e208, as well as the current top-selling Tesla Model 3 which will be adding lower priced variants to its range. Given that Seat and Dacia are both introducing sub-£20k models (the Mii electric and Spring respectively) then affordability and choice should certainly index lower throughout 2021.
On the infrastructure side of things, where we measure the extent of the public charging network available to the new generation of EV buyers, there were continuing if undramatic improvements. The data we obtain from a number of sources points to an additional 400 new charging points coming onstream during the third quarter.
Whilst all of these advances are positive news for car manufacturers and the many other interests seeking to encourage EV adoption, as ever, we should add a note of caution. Progress may have been surprisingly good during the recent months of turmoil that Covid-19 has wrought, but… The Sophus3 Index is still below the half-way point towards reaching the value of 100 where consumer interest, model availability and price, and access to a dependable refuelling infrastructure show an equivalence whether the buyer chooses an EV or a conventionally fuelled internal combustion powered car. There remains much to do on all three fronts.